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What Next for Muslim Brotherhood?   Bassem Sabry   Al Monitor

After discussing current Brotherhood tactics which include continuing an occupation of Rabaa Square, gradually escalating Brotherhood rhetoric and "to adjust the PR message and the sit-in from being "pro-Morsi" to being "anti-military coup" and "pro-democracy" Bassem Sabry moves to the more important question:

Is the reinstatement of Morsi still a possibility or even desirable for the Brotherhood?

 Theoretically, two broad scenarios exist for Morsi's return. The first is through massive international pressure, which is growing less likely as more and more of the international community seem to have accepted the new reality (even Doha) and are keen to move pragmatically forward. US Deputy Secretary Of State William Burns visited in Egypt (where, notably, the Salafi Nour Party and Tamarod declined to meet him). But even if that did work, there would be resistance from the military, which has wide public support, especially since the public  is also quite increasingly distrustful of the international community and the United States, and amid local portrayals of the Brotherhood being an ally of an unpopular US administration.

This would lead, in turn, to Egypt growing more isolated internationally but generously supported by the Gulf, and even rendering extraordinary measures by the authorities against the Brotherhood and Morsi easier to undertake. The second way is through massive, overwhelming popular protests that dwarf June 30, coupled by a split or internal pressure in the military, or both. Both seem unlikely. A split in the military could lead to widespread civil upheaval that could end up further reinforcing a military grip on power or push Egypt off the cliff. The best scenario would be a referendum on Morsi's return to power or immediate presidential elections, both of which Morsi would almost definitely lose, further stripping him and the Brotherhood of clout and claims to broad support. It would generally be wiser for Morsi not to stand for elections again, not only because of the slim chance of victory but also to allow the Brotherhood and Islamists in general a fuller chance at better rehabilitating their image.

But even if Morsi did forcibly return to power, there would also almost be no chance of him going on without neutralizing all pockets of resistance. That would mean most of the leadership in the military and the police, much of the judiciary (those three being of substantial current popularity), virtually all predominant private media, the state bureaucracy, an even more fierce opposition, all potentially coupled with a volcanic public uprising likely larger than June 30, and more. It would seem impossible to confront it all without effectively bringing down the Egyptian state in a Samson-like manner, likely ending in either a second ousting of Morsi or Egypt descending into chaos.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jul 17th, 2013 at 08:32:53 PM EST

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